Belfast Telegraph

Production company secures 13 Secret Fortune deals

By Heather McGarrigle

A Belfast TV production company has secured 13 international production deals, including two with prominent US networks.

A pilot of Wild Rover Production's TV gameshow Secret Fortune has been commissioned by American network CBS and Nigel Lythgoe has been named as a co-producer.

Lythgoe is best known as a former judge on Pop Idol and currently works as executive producer on American Idol.

Secret Fortune has also just been recommissioned for a second series on BBC Two.

It is currently hosted by Nick Knowles on BBC One's Saturday night National Lottery programme and will continue in this slot with Knowles as host.

It will film in Glasgow, with post-production taking place at Wild Rover's Belfast studio.

Mr Morrow said: "We're delighted that the BBC has picked up a second season before the first season has even finished airing.

"So far, Secret Fortune has consistently won the slot against all channels, peaking with a 31% share and over seven million viewers."

Northern Ireland Screen provided funding for the production of Secret Fortune's original pilot.

A spokeswoman for the organisation described the deals as "a massive boost for Northern Ireland's independent TV sector".

The Secret Fortune format will also be produced locally in France, Australia, Finland, the Middle East and Turkey.

A further five production rights contracts have been secured across Europe. .

United States network ABC has also ordered a six-part series of the Wild Rover's original reality gameshow format Take the Money and Run.